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Computing Science & Mathematics

Today we will delve into the idea that math and computer science are closely tied together. To be a bit more specific i will look into the ties between discrete math and computer programing. According to the university of Chicago “This is a branch of mathematics that is mainly concerned with the uses of sets and integers, both of which are ‘discrete’, separate objects from one another. The phrase was coined in the 1980s as a catch-all for math topics that were useful for computer science students, and has evolved into a study on how to think about problem solving in the real world using mathematical (and therefore computational) models. “(https://csmasters.uchicago.edu/page/math-needed-computer-science) This mathematical idea is looking at math based upon logical statements. this in turn relates to programing because all programs are based upon logic and logical statements.

The algorithm that is most related to mathematics is any sorting algorithm. This is shown on (https://medium.com/@_marcos_otero/the-real-10-algorithms-that-dominate-our-world-e95fa9f16c04) By the chart in part 1.

This chart is showing that all of the sorting algorithms have math based roots. This is because math is in and of its self a logical process to land at an answer. Computer algorithms work in the same way. That they use logic to arrive at the answer that is desired For example the quick sort algorithms best scenario is a logarithmic function which is a good mathematical function. This to me goes to show that algorithms are based upon mathematics.

Another field in which math and computer science are tied together is theoretical computer science. one field in this that i want to focus on is automata theory. This is the idea of using logical operations to allow a computer to become self-operating. This idea is able to be done through thge idea of discrete mathematics. This is because discrete mathematics relies on logical statements to arrive at an answer. Through this math we could prompt a computer to ask its self the needed logical questions to become self operating. this would remove the need for a person to operate the machine at all times. by eliminating this need we can push computers more towards the idea of artificial intelligence and possibly create a computer that is sentient. This advancement could lead to amazing advances in all fields of work for example we could make surgery automated and possible eliminate the possibility of human error resulting in the possibility to save more lives. In the field of home care we could create fully automated maids to take care of homes and the elderly. The limits of this advancement is limitless.

Next we will look into some people that were important to both computer science and mathematics. one of these peoples is Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi. This man is one of the founders of mathematics or more specifically algebra. He is also attributed with being the founder of algorithms. this as explained earlier is one of the main ties begotten math and computer science. This man was born in  c.780 in the nation of Persia. He lived his whole life as a mathematician but the ideas that created for math was able to be adapted in to some of the fundamentals for computer science.

To close this off We have analyzed the effects of math in computer science. We showed how you can draw parallels between the ides of math and computer science. We talked about how some theories in math helped to create the main idea of computing science. finally we discuses one of the founders of mathematics and also computer science by association. These things all go to show the very close relation between math and computer science.

 

 

Book review Tubes

In the class CIS115 were we instructed to read a book called tubes by Andrew Blum. This book’s overall topic is how the internet was made and works. This book while overall being a good read goes to explore and explain what the internet is and how it works. This to me is interesting because most stories and books contain information about the internet is how bad it is for you. This book provides a fresh view on how the internet works. One of the most interesting points to me comes out of the chapter titled a network of networks when he says “for an invention that dominates our daily lives-acknowledged as an epoch-making trans-formative force across global society – the Internet’s history is surprisingly underwritten.” This to me is intriguing because as he says the internet is apart of our dayliy lives now a days so why would its history be so hidden? To me this is because there was no one person who created the internet it was a large combination of effort from a multitude of sources. In the book tubes the author states ‘the internet lacks a central founding figure-a Thomas Edison or a Samual f. b. Morse.” Because of this lack there is a major confusion on who or what group found the internet. To me this lack of a central figure goes to show that an invention of this magnitude is not something one guineas could develop them self. A large group of  intelligent people was need to create this century defining invention. The journey to the center of the internet as Andrew Blum defines it is an interesting concept that is explored in this book. The exploration from the concept into how the internet itself works is a very large topic that the author covers beatifically in this novel. this book to me sparked some interest in how long it actually took the internet to be made. Just as the saying goes that Rome wasn’t built in a day the internet also took several years. http://www.history.com/topics/inventions/invention-of-the-internet the history channel also did a piece on the history of the internet. This combined with the book helped me to understand the large amount of work required to develop the internet. I learned that the internet had a precursor called the arpanet and how that got turned over into the internet we know today. The internet itself is a massive network of networks all connected to a singular purpose of allowing the masses to use the information available to the public in an easy fashion.this dissemination of information has changed the way people gain knowledge and information allowing kids to easier to study and learn in school. I know myself as a student have used the internet a multitude of times for anything from googling equations to settling arguments with friends. The internet is the most prominent and generation defining invention ever invented. This book was a very interesting read and provided a new and interesting way to look at the internet and it’s creation.

The Filter Bubble

This last week i have been on a trip with Kansas State University’s Pershing Rifles Company Golf 7 to the national competition. Over this time me and a friend of mine who is apart of Pershing rifles shared my computer to look some things up and in this time i got to experience the idea of a filter bubble firsthand. Firstly I’ll explain that according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_bubble defines a filter bubble as A filter bubble is a result of a personalized search in which a website algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to see based on information about the user (such as location, past click behavior and search history”. Now the main place i saw this difference is as we were browsing Facebook. When i normally browse mine i mostly see ads for things like Nordic sweatshirts and viking accessories like necklace’s etc. When my friend logged into his Facebook i began to see that his adds were more focused towards marching band and independent drill accessories. This shift based upon not the people we have as friends but what we like and look at changed entirely what adds began to show up in our feeds. This idea of a personalized internet began to become very interesting to me. When you think about it each person is only viewing there own specific version of the internet. This bubble filters everything for the news we get to the adds that appear on pages as you search. I began to wonder why there is a filter bubble and the book the pattern on the stone helped to explain why. in chapter 1 nuts and bolts it talks about how we invented computers to help make life easier to certain things. In the same way a filter bubble is a way for the internet to be personalized for you making it easier for you to find the things that you have commonly looked into.  Another viewpoint for the internet is to use incognito mode. This turns off this personalized internet filter bubble. This view becomes interesting because as you began to search things like amazon or eBay they began to give you the most common items on average which is very interesting to see on these websites. This becomes cool in that across all over the people who have used these sites and the millions of items the have to show you the most common ones. After looking at all these viewpoints for the filter bubble i began to wonder what a person could do in order to escape the entrapment created by our own personal preference. According to http://www.computerworld.com/article/2508725/internet/elgan–how-to-pop-your-internet–filter-bubble-.html?page=3 there are six main things you can do to escape the filter bubble.

  1. Deliberately click on links that make it hard for the personalization engines to pigeonhole you. Make yourself difficult to stereotype.
  2. Erase your browser history and cookies from time to time.
  3. Use an “incognito” window for exploring content you don’t want too much of later.
  4. Use Twitter instead of Facebook for news. (Twitter doesn’t personalize.)
  5. Unblock the Status Updates of your friends that Facebook has already blocked. Click the “Edit Options” link at the bottom of your Facebook News Feed. The dialog box will show you who is being blocked. You can hide or un-hide each friend manually, or unblock everybody. This dialog box affects only what comes from friends to you. It does not affect what your friends see of your posts.
  6. Every week or so, post something and then ask the Facebook friends you really care about to go “Like,” comment and click. This activity should prevent Facebook from censoring your comments later for these people.

Using these techniques a person can escape the entrapment of the filter bubble and be able to see more of the internet then what you would see from the small looking glass created by our personal preferences.

Pattern On the Stone Review

!!< SPOILER ALERT>!!

 

Today I want to discuss a book I have been reading for a while now titled “The Pattern on the Stone” by W. Daniel Hillis. I was originally reading this book because it was assigned and I’m sure we can all agree most assigned reading is very boring, dry, and in the end we feel like it was a waste of time. But, being the good student that I am I read the book and within the first few chapters something hit me. What we were reading about was actually a more in-depth look at what we were discussing in class. For example, in class within the first week we looked at the basic programming software of scratch. Now I have some background in this programming so it wasn’t hard to move to a few places or make it spin just easy beginner level programming tasks. But latter in the semester we had to read the chapter titled “programming” and in this chapter it defined programming in the very basic sense of how we did it in class. However, it then moved into using this basic programming idea to define a function and then you only have to use that function to make the program run which to me was a very interesting way to check on and keep the code simple. Then before I knew it we were using this concept in our bubble sorting algorithm with defang the sorting code beforehand and then just using the variable sort to sort the numbers. Before long I saw this happening all over where we could connect the lessons taught in the book to not just programming but life in general. An example of this connection can be seen in the chapter “Universal Building Blocks”. In this chapter the author discusses the idea of a finite state machine. This is the idea that everything has a list of states it can be in which all connected. The example the book provides is if you have a combination lock the states could be defined as locked connects to first digit right, first digit right connects to second digit right and looked, second digit right connects to unlocked and locked. (see picture for visual representation)

fsm_lock.pngThus a lock consists of four states that are all connected. This idea of a state machine is everywhere and by changing how you view an object you can break it down into its states. This can be helpful for things such as fixing a problem with a machine that is stuck, trying to figure how something works, or to just help pass the time when you’re bored. The ideas presented in this book continue to baffle me as the have a great relation to the outside world instead of having a very course specific application. This book has a very interesting idea with it and I believe if you take the time to read it can be a very useful tool to any person. Some of the things that class and the book got me interested in is algorithms. So as an example as to what I mean with if you but the time in and read it I discovered I wanted to learn more about sorting algorithms because I enjoy doing card tricks and it can take some time to sort a deck of cards in the very specific way that you want each time. This idea led me to https://betterexplained.com/articles/sorting-algorithms/#Quicksort_Best_ON_lg_N_Avg_ON_lg_N_WorstON2 a site that helps to explain how to use and the pros and cons of each sorting algorithm. Because of this I discovered that the best way for me to sort them the exact way I want is a selection sort which is to take the smallest card and place it at the start and continue till it is sorted. Just small things like this amazed me while I was reading this book. This book was a great read and I would recommend it to anyone that wants to gain some understanding of how a computer works and how to apply this to the world around them.

Score: 8/10

Algorithms

Today while browsing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_algorithms for an interesting algorithm to write about i came across the Fisher- Yates shuffle. Now besides just having a cool name it also has a very interesting function. This algorithm is defined to randomly shuffle a set of data by effectively putting the data in a hat and randomly selecting the data and placing it in order for the entire length of the input data. This creates an unbiased permutation meaning that each permutation is equally likely. This to me is amazing how this one algorithm can create unbiased permutations because most things will have a bias leading to a trend in the answers. The first 4 mins of this video give a physical representation of how the algorithm works

 

This algorithm unlike some others has the bonus that it can be stopped part way allowing it to be one of the better random number generating algorithms. This algorithm is quite amazing as i can be implemented in several different places for example in another one of our assignments we need to randomly sort a set of data and bubble sort it back into the correct order. We could implement the use of the Fisher-Yates shuffle method in order to shuffle that data for us. this algorithm has more uses then one would originally think. This could be applied in places such as inline card games to randomly shuffle the deck of cards, with some alteration Sudoku puzzles for the people who are smart enough to solve them and many more places. I will say that i believe that any algorithm has uses outside of the originally intended use but we can make it work in unison with other algorithms to get the final result we desire.

In the book “The pattern on the Stone” by W. Daniel Hillis He defines an algorithm on page 78 as a fail-safe procedure guaranteed to preform a specific task. This is proven true many times but i believe this to be especially true for the Fisher-Yates Shuffle. This algorithm will without bias shuffle the data given randomly complying completely with his definition of what an algorithm is.In the book through the chapter Algorithms and Heuristics he discusses how the best algorithm may not be the most obvious or easiest one to use. This rings true to me by a lot because as with the Fisher-Yates Shuffle program it is an older algorithm so within the near future it may become obsolete as people began to venture into the world of algorithms to make it faster and more effective for more data. This is because i believe the ultimate goal of all algorithms is to be the best and fastest the can be while still providing quality work. Algorithms are tricky as the do have a set purpose when created but can be adapted to solve a multitude of problems. For example the Fisher-Yates shuffle was originally intended to shuffle numbers but, when looked at in a broader sense it can shuffle data. From this realization almost anything can be possible as with slight tweaks it can shuffle a deck of cards or shuffle the order of players in a turn based game and many more things. All this can easily be achieved by others looking at an older algorithm and seeing how they can change it to fit there needs. The idea behind an algorithm is never set in stone as i believe that any algorithm can be altered to do a different task then intended with the same accuracy. This thinking is what sparked my interest in algorithms and allowed me to come across the Fisher-Yates shuffle algorithm to talk with you about today. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and have a good day.

A Bit About Me

MY name is Jacob Sticca I was born April 15 1998 and was apart of a military family. Because of this i have been all over the US. I was born in Louisiana moved form the to New York from there i went Kansas for the first time then we went to El Paso Texas after that we went to three different houses in Fort Hood Texas then finally we settled in a house in Harker heights Texas for six years but with all good things that came to an end and we came back to Kansas were i have stayed and decided to go to college. I consider myself from Texas as there is were i spent the most time so i fell i have some of that southern hospitality.

My choice to come to K-State is because of the fact i got a 3 year ROTC scholarship to this college as well as an academic one this greatly impacted my decision as before i had no clue if i would be able to go to college at all. So far college has been the most exciting and stressful time of my life and i await the challenges each day presents with excitement. In turn K-State also has one of the top computer science programs in the U.S. I have always been fascinated with computers since the age of 4 when i first played a game called Age’s of Mythology. The look and feel of being able to hit some buttons and have massive amounts of troops or other things move and do as i wanted was amazing and hooked me into playing video games. When i hit high school and started doing more classes with programming and robotics i realized that the excitement i felt when i write a code and the thing i designed did just as i wanted it to reminded me of the feelings i had when i first began playing on computers. When i realized what that feeling was i was to exited to not pursue it and that led me here to K-State and the CIS 115 class.

For personal hobbies I have there pretty simple. I enjoy playing video games or more accurately i enjoy beating others at games and playing through a well crafted campaign story, i also enjoy fishing, hunting, camping, paintball, air soft, woodworking, working out, and breaking programs on scratch.

For a more adept topic i do enjoy reading and movies. For information on new topics within the world of computers i go to http://www.computerworld.com/ which has several articles on not just computers themselves but the industry of computing technologist as well. And the books within the class have a few chapters that seem like they’ll be interesting are Universal building blocks and Speed:parallel computers in the book the pattern on the stone by W. Daniel Hillis .

This is just a little bit about me so that you can try to get a feel for the kind of person i am i hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading.

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